“Bushfood,” which is also known as “bush tucker,” is the native plant and animal foods of Australia that have been eaten by the Australian Aborigines for an estimated 60,000 years. As Australia became colonized, the settlers often supplemented their paltry food supplies with bushfood, but it was always considered inferior by the English. It’s only been since the 1980s that the native ingredients have been utilized in restaurants and in contemporary recipes.
Vic Cherikoff and Benjamin Christie are the co-hosts of an Australian cooking show called Dining Downunder, which uses bushfood ingredients. Bushfood includes the familiar animals of the Outback (kangaroo, emu, and crocodile), but also incorporate lesser-known fruits and vegetables (warrigal greens, riberry fruit and the Australian desert raisin) and the downright adventurous (witchetty grubs -- a large, white, wood feeding larvae). There are even native spice plants like the lemon myrtle, mountain pepper and aniseed myrtle.
Vic Cherikoff’s products are available from Surfas, the gourmet kitchen and food supply store in Culver City.
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